Recently, my very sweet and thoughtful husband picked up six new hens to add to my chicken collection.
He’s totally an enabler, you guys. What a guy I have over here! But I know he secretly loves them as much as I do.
Now, I’m sure that there’s folks out there who will tell you the right and wrong ways on how to introduce new chickens to the current flock.
But, I’m not going to do that.
I’m just going to share a few ways that things go down on our homestead.
How to Introduce New Chickens to the Current Flock
So if you’re anything like me, you are always adding new chickens (or baby chicks) to your current flock. Our chickens serve many purposes, but I also love adding in new interesting breeds when I find them.
Introducing them to our current flock isn’t super hard or complicated.
But doing a few, simple steps keeps all of our chickens happy, healthy, and safe.
Keep New Chickens Separated From Current Flock
The very first step that we take when we bring new chickens to our farm is to quarantine them. I want to ensure that the new chicks or hens are healthy before I introduce them to our current flock.
Whether its an illness, mites, or lice, it might not always be visible or noticeable initially. I like to take the time to monitor the new additions and give them health checks prior to starting introductions.
We set up a fenced in pen and make a small run for a few days before we start with our next steps.
Slowly Make Introductions
After examining them and if they pass the initial health checks, we start to work towards getting them acquainted with our current flock.
The next step that we do before we make introductions is to set up a separate small run and temporary housing.
Usually this looks like an electric fence and small building that we have available for night time shelter.
And sometimes we use things like a calf hut that we rigged for chicken safety. Work with what you’ve got!
This set up allows both of the new and old chickens to get to know each other for a little while before they are placed in the same run and coop.
Once they’ve spent some time getting acquainted, we make the move and allow them to mingle a bit. Usually, we will supervise them together for a bit.
Don’t be alarmed if they work towards establishing their pecking order. As long as they aren’t being mean or picking on one another, its totally normal for them to work this out.
Its fairly simple to get them introduced to each other. It just takes a little bit of time and patience. But that’s basically all we do when we add new hens or baby chicks to our current flock.